It’s that time of year again where we make a list of things we have the best of intention of doing, but after a short time we give up. We give up our resolutions because of time, we get bored, lose interest, the resolutions are unrealistic, no specific plan, wrong attitude or simply not believing you can. This time it’s going to be different and here’s how.
Lofty Goals no more
Many people start out the New Year by setting a lofty goal like “I’m going to speak (insert language) like a native. The goal is so big and overwhelming that we can’t meet it. Set your goal by making it attainable and specific. Instead choose a goal like “I’m going to learn 100 new words that relate to the kitchen such as to baste, glaze and whisk.
Make a Plan and Follow it
Another key factor to failed resolutions is people forgetting to make a plan. They simply say I’m going to learn 100 new words, but they don’t think about how they are going to do it. A step by step plan is vital to the success of your resolution. Decide specifically which 100 words you are going to learn. Are you going to use flashcards or authentic readings that include your words? Will you practice with a friend? How often will you practice? How will you assess yourself to see if you achieved your goals?
Have you heard the story of the Hare and the Tortoise? The Hare wants to go fast to win the race, but the Tortoise wants to go slow and steady. The Hare stops to rest right before the end of the race and the Tortoise ends up winning the race. The moral here is you don’t have to accomplish your goal all at once. Moving towards your goals in a slow and steady manner will ensure your success. It is better to study for 5 minutes every day learning one or two new words than to try cramming to learn 100 new words.
Make it Fun
One of the top reasons people give up their new year’s resolutions is they get bored. Repetition, let’s face it, can get boring. Doing the same thing the same way is boring, extremely boring. So find a way to mix it up and bring some variety to the job. If your goal is to learn a100 new words relating to the kitchen then one day study flashcards, the next read a recipe or watch a cooking show, play games on Quizlet or read an article on Readlang.com. Just make it interesting. After learning these 100 words change topics, learn 100 words relating to the garage.
Spending money on a language class or a tutor or books can get expensive and can cause many people to give up on their resolutions. This financial burden can be very daunting. The internet to the rescue, there are thousands of sites online where you can learn and practice languages.
Change Your Attitude
Goals are not black and white. You learn 100 new words you succeed, but if you learn only 99 words you fail? Change your attitude. If you learn only 20 new words this is a success since these are 20 words you didn’t know before.
I hope these steps not only help you make goals, but keep them. Happy New Year!
What goals are you making in 2017?